Celtics get a visit from Hall of Famer Havliceck

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Celtics get a visit from Hall of Famer Havliceck

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

WALTHAM The Boston Celtics are in a 2-0 series hole to the Miami Heat.

The only time a Celtics team has rallied from such a deficit to win a series was in 1969, a team that featured Hall of Famer John Havlicek . . . who just so happened to be at the Celtics practice facility on Thursday.

Coincidence?

"John shows up when he thinks we need him," quipped coach Doc Rivers. "John just shows up. He's great. I love having him around."

Coincidence or not, his timing could not be better.

While the Celtics continue to maintain that they are confident that they can get back into their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup with Miami, it can only help to hear words of encouragement from a Celtics legend who has actually been there and done that.

"I love when all those guys come around," Rivers said. "Hell, I wish they'd come to every practice. I just think they got more stories, more truthful stories . . . " and with a glance towards the championship banners that hang on the walls, Rivers added, "and the history is above them. It's always good when they (Celtics legends) come around."

The 1969 Celtics trailed the Los Angeles Lakers 2-0 in the NBA Finals. After losing both road games, the Celtics returned home to win Games 3 and 4. They lost Game 5 in Los Angeles, and bounced back to win Game 6 in Boston and closed out the series with a 108-106 Game 7 win in Los Angeles.

The game-winning basket in Game 7 was scored by former Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson.

"We always felt that if we could just get healthy, we could beat anybody we played," Nelson told CSNNE.com.

Here we are, 42 years later, and some things remain the same.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

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All-Stars, studs and duds: Westbrook's reign as MVP comes to an end

All-Stars, studs and duds: Westbrook's reign as MVP comes to an end

NEW ORLEANS – You don’t rack up triple doubles at a historically ridiculous rate the way Russell Westbrook does without being able to dish out an assist from time to time.

The biggest assist he made in the 66th annual NBA all-star didn’t make its way on to the stats sheet.

But it was historical in so many ways.

Westbrook’s advice to Anthony Davis on how to win the game’s MVP award was indeed taken to heart with Davis winning the award following the Western Conference’s 192-182 win over the East All-Stars.

Davis finished with a game-high 52 points, shattering the previous mark set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962.

Davis won the MVP award after Westbrook had won it each of the two previous All-Star games.

Prior to the game, Davis said he did do a little lobbying among his fellow all-stars in the locker room.

“I stressed that, I think more than enough, to the guys in the locker room before the game that I wanted to get the MVP for this crowd, for this city, and I ended up doing it.”

Following the game, Westbrook acknowledged that he did speak with Davis about how to win the MVP award.

When asked about what he said, Westbrook replied, “I’m not going to tell you, but he did a good job and got it done.”

Despite not winning the MVP award, Westbrook had a dominant game of his own as he tallied 41 points which was one point shy of the previous record.

But after the game, it was clear that he was more pleased with the performance of Davis.

“It was great,” Westbrook said. “It’s definitely always a great thing to do, especially here where he plays in front of his fans, his family. It’s a great experience and definitely happy for him.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the 66th annual NBA all-star game.

 

STARS

Anthony Davis

The hometown team’s best player delivered a scoring night for the ages, finishing with an All-Star record 52 points on 26-for-39 shooting to go with 10 rebounds. The previous record of 42 points was set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962.

Russell Westbrook

His All-Star reign as the game’s MVP came to an end after having won the award the previous two All-Star games. He finished with 41 points.

 

STUDS

Giannis Antetokounmpo

He was an above-the-rim monster, scoring 30 points primarily on a dozen dunks.

Kevin Durant

He was filling up the stat sheet in several categories for the West, finishing with a triple-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Kyrie Irving

Arguably the best performer for the East, Irving had 22 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds.

Isaiah Thomas

There were others who had a more prolific night shooting the ball, but Thomas’ impact off the bench was indeed felt. He led all East reserves with 20 points.

James Harden

The bearded one had a triple-double as well, although not the kind he would prefer. Along with scoring 12 points, and dishing out 12 assists, Harden also racked up a game-high 10 turnovers.

 

DUDS

None

There were some guys who didn’t do much statistically, but with this being such an exhibition-like event, putting too much stock in any player’s performance is a waste of time. They are among the top 24 or so players in the NBA. No amount of missed shots or turnovers will change that fact.